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Botanica Marina

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Volume 58, Issue 6


Seasonal and spatial variation in biochemical composition of Saccharina latissima during a potential harvesting season for Western Sweden

Jenny Veide Vilg
  • Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Industrial Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Göran M. Nylund
  • Department of Marine Sciences – Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg, SE-452 96 Strömstad, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Tony Werner
  • Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Industrial Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Linnea Qvirist
  • Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Industrial Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Food and Nutrition Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Joshua J. Mayers
  • Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Industrial Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Henrik Pavia
  • Department of Marine Sciences – Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg, SE-452 96 Strömstad, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ingrid Undeland
  • Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Food and Nutrition Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Eva AlbersORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1921-3415
Published Online: 2015-11-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2015-0034


This study monitored the biomass composition of Saccharina latissima during a potential harvesting season on the West coast of Sweden, in order to find suitable harvest times for biorefinery purposes. Specimens of S. latissima were sampled at three locations in June, August and October and the biomass was analysed for its macromolecular composition, as well as for the content of several specific compounds, e.g. sugars and fatty acids. PERMANOVA analyses showed that there was a significant difference in the biomass composition among time points. The total carbohydrate concentration was lowest in June and peaked at 360 mg g-1 dry weight in August, while the mannitol content was highest, 90 mg g-1, in June and decreased throughout the sampling period. Total protein and fatty acid concentrations were found to be approximately 80 and 3 mg g-1, respectively, with relatively little variation over time. Overall, there was little spatial variation in the macromolecular composition, although the concentration of some specific monosaccharides and fatty acids, as well as the total phenolic content, differed among localities. We discuss the implications of the observed variation in biomass composition of S. latissima for future biorefinery purposes.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: biomass composition; Saccharina; seasonal variation; seaweed


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About the article

Jenny Veide Vilg

Jenny Veide Vilg is a researcher at the Division of Industrial Biotechnology, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology. She holds a PhD in Bioscience from the division of Food Science at Chalmers University of Technology and has a research background in molecular microbiology and enzymology, with applications in nutrition and biofuels production, as well as fundamental research. Her present research is focused on seaweed biotechnology, with emphasis on protein extraction and bioprospecting for novel enzymes and microorganisms for algal polysaccharide hydrolysis and fermentation.

Göran M. Nylund

Göran M. Nylund is a Researcher at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg. He earned a PhD in Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg for work on seaweed defences against biofouling and has worked with chemical ecology of seaweeds for more than 10 years. His recent research interest also includes the development of cultivation techniques for seaweeds.

Tony Werner

Tony Werner is a Master of Science student studying Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology and he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology. During his Master’s studies he worked as a project assistant under Dr. Eva Albers.

Linnea Qvirist

Linnea Qvirist is a PhD student at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, in the division of Food and Nutrition Science. She has an MSc degree in Biotechnology from Chalmers, and her Master’s thesis work involved the isolation, characterization and analysis of yeasts. Thereafter she worked in the Industrial Biotechnology group, analyzing the composition of algal biomass.

Joshua J. Mayers

Joshua J. Mayers joined the Industrial Biotechnology Division at Chalmers University of Technology as a post-doctoral researcher in the Algal Biotechnology group in June 2014. He gained his PhD in Biological Sciences at Swansea University (UK) studying the physiological and biochemical responses of marine microalgae to culture conditions, nutrient regime and stress. He is currently involved in several multi-disciplinary projects, including investigation of integrated biorefinery scenarios, and microalgal metabolism and biochemistry.

Henrik Pavia

Henrik Pavia is Professor in Marine Chemical Ecology at the Department of Marine Sciences-Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg. He gained his PhD in Marine Botany in 1999, focusing on the ecological role of brown algal phlorotannins. Since then he has built and led a research group in marine chemical ecology, with extensive national and international collaboration. During recent years he has also shown strong interest in seaweed farming and he is currently coordinating some of the major Swedish initiatives on cultivation of brown, red and green macroalgae.

Ingrid Undeland

Ingrid Undeland is Professor of Food Science at Chalmers University of Technology focusing her research on lipids, proteins and antioxidants from marine raw materials. She earned her PhD from Chalmers in 1998 on lipid oxidation in herring and then spent 2 years as a post doc at the University of Massachusetts Marine Station in USA. Currently, she leads a marine research group at the Food and Nutrition Science unit at Chalmers. She is also the national representative in West European Fish Technologists Association (WEFTA) and European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences-Food Chemistry Division (EuCheMS-FCD), and Chair of Nordic Lipidforum.

Eva Albers

Eva Albers is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Chalmers University of Technology in the Division of Industrial Biotechnology. She earned a PhD in 2000 from Chalmers in Biochemical Engineering by studying the nitrogen and redox metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She is leading the Algal Biotechnology group of the Industrial Biotechnology Division, which studies seaweed and microalgae. Her research interest is metabolism and physiology in particular in response to changing environmental conditions and algal biorefinery recovering fine and bulk chemicals from biomass.

Corresponding author: Eva Albers, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering-Industrial Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden, e-mail: .

Received: 2015-05-31

Accepted: 2015-09-29

Published Online: 2015-11-05

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, Volume 58, Issue 6, Pages 435–447, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2015-0034.

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